Communist Party of China passes landmark resolution securing Xi Jinping’s “grassroots” status and record third term
Chinese President Xi Jinping, | File Image | Photo credit: AP
Beijing: A high-profile conclave of the ruling Communist Party of China on Thursday adopted a landmark resolution to cement President Xi Jinping’s “essential” status in the country’s political history and allowed him to extend his reign for a record third term in the year next and possibly beyond. .
The resolution – the only third of its kind in the party’s 100-year history after the one issued under party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping – was discussed and adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, held in Beijing from November 8 to 11, an official statement released after the meeting said.
The 14-page statement praising Xi’s leadership and “grassroots” status within the party makes it clear that he would remain in power for an unprecedented third term after completing his second five-year term. next year and maybe beyond not to retire unlike his predecessors. .
The plenum, attended by around 400 top party leaders, decided to advance the Party Congress once every five years from next year to the middle of the year, starting at the end when the third Xi’s tenure had to be officially approved.
Xi, 68, known as a “prince” because he is the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Xi Zhongxun who was persecuted by Mao for his liberal views, gradually rose through the ranks becoming vice president under the former chairman Hu Jintao.
While he had the image of a calm leader in his previous positions, he transformed into the most ambitious and powerful leader shortly after taking over the party leadership in 2012, immediately followed by the presidency. and the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the general high command of China’s 2 million military personnel.
He quickly consolidated his power by launching a massive anti-corruption campaign in which more than a million officials, including more than 50 senior army generals as well as top party leaders, were punished.
He also emerged as a “leader” putting an end to the system of collective leadership followed by his predecessors.
Experts said the plenum essentially consolidated Xi’s grip on power.
“He is trying to portray himself as the hero of China’s national travel epic,” said Adam Ni, editor of China Neican, a Chinese news bulletin.
“By passing a historic resolution that is at the center of the Party’s grand narrative and of modern China, Xi is demonstrating his power. But the document is also a tool to help him retain that power,” he said. told the BBC.
Dr Chong Ja Ian of the National University of Singapore said the latest ruling sets Xi apart from other previous Chinese leaders.
“(Former rulers) Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin have never had as much consolidated authority as Xi. There is certainly a lot of emphasis on Xi as a person now. The degree to which he is becoming more formally institutionalized is what many are watching. at the moment, “he said.
Thursday’s Plenum resolution left no doubt about its absolute power, declaring that the meeting resolutely supported “Comrade Xi Jinping’s central position in the Central Committee and in the Party.”
“It was underlined during the session that the Chinese Communists, with Comrade Xi Jinping as the main representative, established Xi Jinping’s thinking on Chinese-style socialism for a new era on the basis of adapting the principles of basis of Marxism to the specific realities of China, ”the statement said.
“Comrade Xi Jinping, through careful assessment and in-depth reflection on a number of major theoretical and practical issues concerning the cause of the Party and the country in the new era, presented a series of new ideas, original thoughts and strategies on governance revolving around major issues, ”he said.
“The Party has established the central position of comrade Xi Jinping in the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole,” he said.
The plenum also highlighted the unprecedented growth and power of the Chinese military under Xi.
“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has continued to strengthen and the humiliating diplomacy of the old China has ended,” he said.
With regard to national defense and the armed forces, the People’s Army has undergone an overall revolutionary restructuring for the next step, while our defense capabilities have grown in step with our economic might.
“The army of our people, steadfastly accomplishing the missions of the new era, has taken concrete steps to protect our national sovereignty, our security and our development interests with an indomitable fighting spirit,” he said. middle of the territorial dispute between China and India. China also has maritime disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan in the South China Sea.
Regarding “national security, we have strengthened security on all fronts and resisted the many political, economic, ideological and natural risks, challenges and trials” ensuring lasting stability, he said.
On the issue of Taiwan, the resolution stressed that China strongly opposes the idea of a self-governing island seeking independence. He also expressed his opposition to any foreign interference on the Taiwan issue.
“We strongly oppose separatist activities seeking ‘Taiwan independence’. We firmly oppose foreign interference. We have maintained the initiative and the ability to lead cross-strait relations,” he said. he declares.
He also underlined the growing diplomatic weight of China.
“On foreign affairs, we have advanced the diplomacy of large countries with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. China has innovated in its diplomatic efforts in a context of profound global changes and turned crises into opportunities in complex situations on the international scene, ”he said.
“These efforts have resulted in a marked increase in China’s international influence, appeal and power to shape,” he said.
The document, a summary of the party’s 100-year history, discusses its main achievements and future directions, which observers say argue for Xi’s retention in power given the turbulent phase China is going through with the union of the United States and the great world powers. to contain his ascent.
Politically, the meeting is considered important for Xi who – during the last nine years of his tenure in power – has significantly consolidated his power by becoming the most powerful leader after Mao.